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Steinberg Cubasis 3.6

DAW Software For iOS & Android By John Walden
Published March 2024

The free Lo‑Fi Piano expansion is included within the Cubasis 3.6 update.The free Lo‑Fi Piano expansion is included within the Cubasis 3.6 update.

Steinberg’s mobile DAW just keeps getting better.

Steinberg have shown an admirable commitment to mobile music production technology since they launched Cubasis for iPad, and the arrival of v.3.6 brings plenty of new features for users on both iOS and Android. Since SOS reviewed v3.2 in the May 2021 issue, a number of significant additions have appeared, including support for Chrome OS, Ableton Link and improved access to devices such as AirPods and other Bluetooth hardware. Alongside a whole host of efficiency and stability tweaks, plus the addition of a ‘dark’ keyboard display mode and a system for ‘favouriting’ preset sounds, the obvious highlights within this 3.6 release are four new instrument sound sets. Let’s take a look.

LoFi Piano

One of these will be instantly familiar to users of Cubase on the desktop: LoFi Piano. As the title suggests, LoFi Piano features a series of piano‑based sounds. These include some very respectable conventional pianos, but also plenty of processed variants with various degrees of lo‑fi sonics. The UI is both simple and effective, with six key controls — Flutter, Compress, Saturate, Reduce, Filter and Reverb — that allow you to tweak the sound to taste. Having been a fan of this library on the desktop since it was first released, to my ears at least, the sounds here are pretty much identical, which is to say they are great: full of character and very usable. Oh, and it’s a free download from within Cubasis 3.6, so what’s not to like?

New IAPs On The Block

The other three instrument collection are all available as optional in‑app‑purchases. They are the HALion Sonic Collection IAP (£14.99$19.99), FM Classics IAP (£9.99$13.99) and Neo FM IAP (£9.99$13.99). The first of these provides a massive (over 1100 individual instruments) collection of sounds drawn from the desktop HALion Sonic instrument. These span a huge range of categories covering orchestral sounds, guitars, basses, drums, percussion, sound effects, pianos, organs, a range of synth‑based instruments, voices and ethnic/world instruments. There are some fantastic sounds here that make something of a mockery of the compact form‑factor of your average tablet. For example, try loading a patch such as Backing Section (a lush sustained strings patch from the Strings category) and using the touchscreen Chord Pads to trigger a few chords; it’s as beautiful as it is epic. Whatever style of music you create, there is something for everyone here. Again, the UI works brilliantly for sound editing from a touchscreen.

The Halion Sonic Collection IAP provides a bumper pack of sounds that span every musical genre.The Halion Sonic Collection IAP provides a bumper pack of sounds that span every musical genre.

I suspect the two FM IAPs are primarily derived from the desktop FM Lab expansion available for HALion. The FM Classics provides you with all the sounds from the classic DX7 and TX81Z synths. These are the sounds of the 1980s but also today, given how popular a synthwave flavour is in modern pop music. For a more modern take on FM synthesis, the Neo FM IAP is a great choice. If your home ground is modern pop or electronica, this will give you a top‑notch palette of sounds to get creative with. Oh, and incidentally, Cubasis projects imported into a suitably equipped desktop version of Cubase will automatically get an suitable instrument match. Very neat.

Cubasis 3.6 is a mature, slick and feature-rich virtual studio that you can carry with you anywhere and the new IAPs all provide impressive sound expansions available directly within the app.


The arrival of Apple’s Logic Pro for iPad has undoubtedly provided some healthy competition for Cubasis and, if you use one of these on the desktop, it makes sense to stay ‘on brand’. Seeing both Steinberg and Apple take the mobile platform quite so seriously is undoubtedly a measure of just how capable it is. Feel free to reminisce about the good‑old days of cassette four‑track recorders as a first step into the wonders of multitrack recording if you wish, but if you think of that old four‑track as the original (undoubtedly revolutionary for its time) Ford Model T, then Cubasis 3.6 on a modern iPad is more akin to the Starship Enterprise. Yup, 2024 is a heck of a point in time to be starting your recording journey. Cubasis 3.6 is a mature, slick and feature‑rich virtual studio that you can carry with you anywhere, and the new IAPs all provide impressive sound expansions available directly within the app. This is genuinely powerful stuff.


Cubasis is an impressive illustration of just how powerful music production can be on a mobile platform. The IAPs added in v.3.6 expand the possibilities even further, with some excellent new virtual instrument options.


Android £24.99, iOS £49.99. Prices include VAT.

Android $29.99, iOS 49.99.